(c) 2013 Trina Lambert Forsythia delayed by spring snows and cold.

(c) 2013 Trina Lambert
Forsythia delayed by spring snows and cold.

You never know what to expect around here from year to year—especially in the spring. Last year we were about four weeks or more ahead of schedule—this year, we’re behind. I’d like to get excited about the fact the nurseries are holding sales to get rid of some of their inventory, but I’ve nowhere to put the flowers either!

This wet, cool weather does remind me, though, of May two years ago. I had such big plans for getting out and about with my new puppy and new rescue dog. And, got out I did because I didn’t want my house torn apart! But the reality didn’t quite match my dreams.

In my dreams my back didn’t get hurt driving to pick up that puppy and the initial weather back home was actually nice much of the time.

But in my reality, I still had a lot of fun with my two pups, even if it meant taking them out into the cold rain while wearing my mother’s hand-me-down chartreuse slicker and walking much slower and for shorter distances than planned. There would be other sunny days and runs ahead of us, right? And, how much could I plant anyway if a puppy might come around and dig up my handiwork?

At least that’s what I believed before I knew how long I would have to wait for sunshine and growth.

Funny how the cold rains remind me both of what I don’t want to remember and what I most definitely do want to remember. That stormy May stripped away my assumptions about what I could do and not do for my health and forced me to slow down and stay close to home. In the quiet days when I grieved my active lifestyle, I gathered my dogs around me and learned to be still—with them.

My heart, riddled from loss—expected and unexpected, had developed holes, small and large. The only way to begin to patch or fill those holes was to give in to the pet therapy offered to me, even if that also meant walking outside in all kinds of weather when I really just wanted to stay in and wallow in my pain.

All those planned hikes and runs melted into slow walks, even when the rains disappeared, throughout the summer, into the fall, winter, and even into the next spring. Healing had its own timetable, but through it all I had my dogs. When I finally began to run again—almost a year and a half later—in order to re-develop a healthy form, I had to start doing so without the dogs at my side, but still hope to include them one day soon.

This week, our dog Sam’s hiking backpack arrived for all our planned hikes. And I need to buy a new pair of running shoes—because mine are worn out from running, not just from walking the dogs. Plus, when the weather finally settles down enough for me to plant flowers, I’m not so worried about my now-grown dog Furgus eating them.

Right now, as afternoon stretches toward evening and though creeks are overflowing, the sun is out and drying up many paths—at least those away from flood plains. Turns out, there’s still time to run before the next storm. And if the dogs are lucky, the weather will hold long enough for their walk, too! So often, dreams have their own timetables, too.